From The Virginia Freeman’s Society

Well said, this is another great assessment of a serious problem with a number of groups.

Local, Realistic, Disciplined, Prepared.

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Contra Praeteritum: Why patriots today are gearing up for the last insurgency

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Charge of the Light Brigade – Lady Butler

My experience this weekend and the excellent article by JC Dodge HERE started a train of thought I couldn’t shake. I went to a training event a local group hosted and was treated to a particularly frustrating experience. Someone was there in Gucciflage all pretty and matchy-matchy (if George W. can invent words then so can this Texan) but failed to bring a holster for his sidearm (because who needs a holster when you look that good), so the planned iterations of transitions from long gun to handgun were interesting to say the least. Not that it mattered, as most had difficulty putting a controlled pair into steel at a 1/4 sized target 10 yards away with a handgun. I kid you not. The PT standards I and others had screamed for were scrapped for some feel-good joke of a run ( 11:30/mile is NOT a standard…it’s a brisk walk) and pushups on your knees, Girl Scout style. It deteriorated to a lot of back-patting and insistence that we all wear the same man-jammies (multicam of course) with a few pointed looks in my direction since I came in something solid and less threatening. While I attempt to refrain from expressing my frustrations and admittedly caustic sarcasm on here, as I feel I owe the readers a modicum of maturity and good-taste, I use the former to illustrate my point. I see much of the modern patriot movement doing exactly what we sneer at the Pentagon and military brass for doing, namely fighting the last war.

Society, industry, culture, warfare and just about every other aspect of civilization evolve. It is a natural and healthy part of a functioning ecosystem, whether that is literal or financial or martial in nature. Clubs begat swords and spears which begat muskets which eventually arrived at things like the Dillon Aero M134. Similarly, the way in which the last two wars were prosecuted against insurgencies were rather bungled, though exactly who should shoulder the blame I will leave to others more qualified. Many patriots point to the insurgencies in Iraq, Afghanistan and some Ireland as examples of how insurgencies can and do defeat regular forces. While there are salient points to be drawn from these historical events, very little critical and realistic thinking is done on the part of Captain Awesome running his ‘mulisha.’ I very much agree with both JC Dodge and Max Velocity on the abandonment of military uniforms, nomenclature and patches. Partly because I view it as a lack of creativity, someone who cannot think of an original name should not be counted on to think outside the box in operations, but also because I believe one should not act like the 800 lb. gorilla in the room unless you ARE the 800 lb. gorilla in the room…and probably not even then. While the uniform issue is easily enough remedied, I think it is endemic of a systematic failure of critical analysis of what and who the Taliban, Isis and IRA were. Three issues in which the patriot movement has significantly overestimated themselves and misidentified the success of these various groups is in funding, cultural influence and what I will refer to as population motivation.

1. Funding

The best guesses for the Taliban’s funding put their annual income somewhere between $100-300M between profit’s from the poppy industry along with a healthy slice of all the aid that flowed into Afghanistan. Current estimates on ISIS run anywhere from $30M to $50M all the way up to $2B a year. The IRA was similarly well funded by Americans, various illegal behavior and allegedly the Soviets and Libyans. The current funding for any single militia, is what exactly? We can’t even create any type of leadership structure let alone compete with that type of funding. Maybe a few thousand dollars or ten would be the best the local community would be able to scrap together. The Oathkeepers and even the NRA could not compete with that kind of cash if you scale what $300M buys in Afghanistan to the equivalent in American purchasing power. Certainly nothing on the scale of what the aforementioned organizations had. This is important because money matters. It buys cool toys, it buys expertise whether through training or outsourcing, it buys contacts, information and influence. Money buys full time employees, meaning ideally you have all those smart guys focused full-time on furthering your goals instead of working 50-70 hours a week and doing it part-time.

2. Cultural Influence

One of the more memorable passages I remember from Killcullen’s Counterinsurgency was his description of how influential the Taliban social structure was. Summons to Taliban courts would be served even in Kabul and individuals were more likely to show up than a summons from the official Afghani government. To me this illustrates the realpolitik of the average Joe (or Achmed in this case). There was certainly a sizable segment of Afghanistan that did and still does support the Taliban, similarly ISIS seems to have built a coalition of support. The IRA originally built a rather impressive base of support, even spanning the Atlantic until the shifting cultural dynamic turned against them, partly because of their own actions (Omagh 1998, whether perception or reality), partly because of the absorption of Sinn Fein into the government, and partly because of how terrorism was perceived by the public in Western countries after 2001. During their heyday both the historical and modern IRA enjoyed support among the indigenous population to one extent or another. The patriot movement enjoys no such support among the population. While some may support it online, how many in the local community would look the other way or actively harbor someone the government deemed a ‘domestic terrorist?’ I know of a handful of people that know me personally who would, but the brand is MY name, not of any organization. Other tribes enjoy support here in the US so I contend this is a lack of organization and effort, not a cultural issue. Ask local LEO how many people saw something after an incident in a primarily black community, particularly if it is in a gang’s territory. Other examples exist, but that is the first one that comes to mind. So while Captain Awesome may think he will ride about in multicam and it will be some kind of Red Dawn type groundswell of popular support for his merry band of matching ‘operators,’ the fact of the matter is he has not a fraction of the cultural standing, authority or support any of these insurgency movement leaders had he so gladly is willing to use as historical evidence. Pray tell, who is the American Michael Collins?

3. Population Motivation

Religion. Politics. Culture. These things make people to fight the status quo, fight to preserve the status quo and generally motivate people to stop sitting in their own blood and go spill their enemy’s. ISIS and Taliban, if what I read can be believed, are motivated along all three of the aforementioned lines. Establishing a political structure that suits their religious beliefs, a religion that commands and supports their actions, and their cultural rejection of Western values and politics. The IRA was motivated along similar lines, though in my opinion less so by religious beliefs than the other two. An essential precursor to money and cultural influence is a base of support sufficiently motivated to support an organization because they represent an ideal they espouse. It has to be idealistic in nature because the existing regime has the benefit of discouraging support through prosecution, curfews, taxation, and a myriad of other soft and hard political force.  My point being is that one of the symptoms and perhaps the most damning one of this long con we have been victim of is that of the demographics of the nation. One look at the comments section of WRSA reveals how fractured we are on all three fronts. Not quite a three legged stool, but two would be nice if you’re trying to solidify support for a movement. Those conditions simply do not exist at this point in America. The suburbanites in Captain Awesome’s AO do not have his ideals most likely, in some cases they may, but in most they do not. They are increasingly not sharing his religion and most especially not his politics. They are not ideologically motivated and the portion that are call themselves Black Lives Matter, Bernie supporters and social justice warriors. Motivated populations also provide a pool of potential recruits, as we have found out the last several years in the Middle East.

 

In conclusion, it is the height of folly to blindly point at some historical examples that seem to support a pie-in-the-sky assessment of the future battlefield. These insurgencies had things that will not exist here in America. While this may fly in the face of my thoughts about being optimistic, one should not allow a positive outlook to cloud hard facts and real assessments. I fail to see how modeling any patriot groups, or tribes after a semi-regular insurgency forces that have taken place under vastly different circumstances is anything but a recipe for disaster. It success impossible? Not at all. However rather than model things after an unholy bastardization of the US military, Taliban, Chechens, IRA and other historical examples we need to stop making the same mistakes as the Pentagon has since Vietnam. It’s a sobering thought to think that patriots have less support, less money and fewer friends than any of these historical insurgencies. It is all the more reason for us to be extremely critical of ourselves, our skills, our tactics and our tribe-building. This is not meant as a Chicken Little assessment, but rather a reason to motivate us to be serious. Things will not just work out, it will require planning and God-awful amounts of perseverance. We are Americans and we do it better, so let’s get to it…and for goodness’ sake get a pair of khaki or olive pants and quit being a gear queer!

 

Jesse James

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JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

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18 thoughts on “From The Virginia Freeman’s Society

    • Yes, I totally agree. After having worked with several groups, you would not believe the amount of whining by group members because they did not want to do PT or train with their weapons. Most say they can shoot, but a better description would be that they can yank a trigger. Most won’t agree to standardize on anything. Trying to hold most people to any standard (PT or shooting a scored test) just results in people dropping out. To quote from John Mosby’s latest book “For all of you who ask, “HOW do I build a tribe? How do I identify who is in my tribe? How do I make sure I’m not getting worthless fu**ers in my tribe?”. Make them start gathering gear and preps, doing PT and training, and you will soon find out who the worthless ones are. People who take this seriously are rare indeed.

      • “Make them start gathering gear and preps, doing PT and training, and you will soon find out who the worthless ones are. People who take this seriously are rare indeed.”

        Sad to say,but I believe real close to 9 out of every 10 are worthless,that’s what I’ve seen since the mid 1990’s in NE Ohio-the “miltia” groups all fall under the worthless designation which is why I gave up on them.
        Drinking beer around a campfire till midnight or later on Fri, spending Saturday target shooting,repeat the beers around the fire Sat. night,then pack up and go home Sun morning is not training.
        Most of those guys couldn’t carry a full ruck any farther than the end of their driveways.
        The lack of useful training and PT is pathetic.

  1. Reblogged this on brushbeater and commented:
    Great write up JJ and JC- the cornerstone of a guerrilla movement, as I wrote before, is the recognized collective efficacy towards a common goal. The Left has been doing it for a LONG while now, and the examples mentioned in the US are simply the current machinations.

    Looking like a wierdo or a SOF never-gonna-be is a good way to end up on someone’s ROE. That someone often has better support than you and your shooting buddies. It’s also a social barrier with little recognized authority among those which you live. And that recognized authority is also the difference between them protecting you when needed or outing you under pressure from an occupying force. You must realize it is that populace which will feel the most burden of your escapades; they will tire of you quickly if you A) fail to deliver, and B) Cause more trouble than you’re worth.

    A guerrilla’s greatest attribute is his populace; he is of them. That’s why some recent domestic incidents have failed when others have succeeded. This concept might be relevant soon.

  2. Ok here it is. My grandmother use to say when you point at someone you have three fingers pointing back at you.
    Mr Jame makes good and valid points.
    Now what in blazes are we going to do to change it?
    Chist started a one man movement that altered the world forever with 12 disciples,
    count them 12. He did this by example and teaching and one man at a time.
    So this is where I line all you professional soldiers up and dress you down.
    1.Are you living what you preach?
    2. How can you reach just one man out of that militia group?
    3. How do I make disciples out of the few I can reach, train the trainer
    4. Is this best done ranting about how unprofessional these losers are, or can I turn this into a teaching moment..
    For example I live where it is liberal but most folks just go along to get along.
    But when asked they know this shit is wrong and don’t know how to fix it.
    That is my “in”. I then can introduce the self defense train of thought, and start small with family, home , neighborhood ,and town. In doing this I build tribe.
    As an AEMT I can use the wedge issue of health and what if you cant defend you daughter if your to fat to run? could you live with that?
    So to the rants I say cut the crap.. Lets put our heads together and se how we can change this one person at a time, if each of us converts one other person into a warrior. Soon we will be invincible until then fight smarter not harder.
    Semper paratis
    Mike

    • First, when I point my fingers are usually extended and joined, so the “three fingers” thing doesn’t apply. Second, do you think we haven’t tried that route? Some of us have been involved in this for over 20 years. For every person that has some potential, there are 50 that are playing (and that’s a generous figure). These aren’t facts we like, but it is reality. We are still doing what we can, but I’ve decided to be a lot more selective with my free time (and a lot of it was my free time, not business related). Apparently, you are not as “in the know” as you believe you are, or you wouldn’t feel like you needed to “dress down” those that have been doing what you speak of.

      • First Ill admit that I am not in the know.
        Second we all know that people are lazy and will take the easy way out rather than do the hard work.
        Hell those of us that try to do it right have to fight to not take shortcuts and we know the price of that.we even saw that crap on active duty in an all volunteer service?
        Try to recruit for a local fire department sometime, they want all the trappings of the FF/EMT but it is the same six guys that are out at 0200 lifting the elderly overweight lady out of her shit. That my friend is not glamorous at all.
        but if I can get just one good recruit out of the 20-50 that walk through the door I am a happy man.
        And yes most of our last successful recruits are prior service.
        To the dress down, I see men with talent and knowledge getting down and discouraged and pointing out what is wrong with the malisha.
        So face it those boobs are lost, Help those that need it and can be saved.
        Like myself I have some experience but I I need to brush up and train more.
        I come to these pages to pick your brains and sites like max, and brush beater, and sparks.
        I do not have the time and money to take one of your classes right now, and as soon as I do I will because steel sharpens steel and I think it is important to do that.
        So my point is if a noobie comes here to learn a little and feel out the movement and sees you pros down on stuff and dragging your ass how is that going to help get them in a better spot when the shit hits the fan.
        Now I now you are good for this because you take the time to read this as I am being a pain in the ass. and you feel compelled to answer.
        It sucks to get beat down day after day but if we care about our kids it is worth it to get up and do it again.
        If i cant leave them with a better world I can at least teach them to fight.
        semper paratis

        • Mike, I don’t think you’re being a PITA at all, and I get what you’re sayin’. The only change I’ve made is that I don’t encourage the “organizing as a moolisha” thing. I still encourage preparedness, and having a local NPT that doesn’t play the “army” thing.

        • Re-read the last paragraph I wrote. I specifically stated the reason why I wrote what I did, and it was not to rant, nor was it to make fun of the ‘mulisha.’ I even stated that success is certainly possible and the last sentence was encouragement that it’s entirely possible to do better! I did that to specifically address the ‘sour grapes/meanie/pessimist/you’re not patriotic/you’re a defeatist ect. comments. Sigh. I’m a busy guy and I don’t have enough time to sleep most nights, let alone worry about making fun of stupid people by writing about them. I don’t know how much or how long you’ve been reading this little section of the internet, but while I just lose hours of sleep to hopefully add something worthwhile to the movement, others here have gone to much greater lengths of time and money. There are guys out there like me, who very literally work 70+ hour workweeks and have to manage to carve out time on weekends to go train. I want them use it wisely. Few of us are independently wealthy. I want them to spend their money wisely. I also want them to pick their friends wisely, because that can get you killed or stuck somewhere like Malhuer. I want them to be chock full of good, solidly supported ideas.

          This was not intended as a hit piece, it was to provoke thought and make people consider “Am I doing this right?” It’s far more cruel for me to shut up, keep my head down and laugh at people who will very likely die because they aren’t thinking about things. I raise the question, how will people know unless they are shown the way? You want exponential growth through a discipleship program. That only works if the person doing the discipleship knows what he is doing. JCD is a good guy but I draw the line at immaculate conception (no offense JCD), so he probably can’t divinely inspire 12 disciples. Ergo, my two-cents about the ‘mulisha.’ Those 8 hours a week or month the dedicated carve out will be wasted on asinine ventures into fantasyland, many times. I want those doing any discipleship or in any leadership to be brutally efficient with time and money. That’s why that article was written, because maybe I saved some guy from having to read a dozen or two books on guerrilla warfare, counterinsurgency and military history to draw the same conclusion after he’s wasted months or years, time that’s running out by the way, on bad ideas. Ask me how I know. My criticism was not because I’m depressed, it’s because I care, probably more than I should. So don’t take this personal, I’m not ragging on you. Just trying to explain my end.

          JCD: 1/100. I’m convinced that is a more useful ration than pi. I grew up hearing about the 10% rule but I think my parents were just optimistic or the other 9% couldn’t take the stupid any more and started taking Xanax.

        • “It sucks to get beat down day after day but if we care about our kids it is worth it to get up and do it again.

          That’s very true. It’s also why there are those trainers out there who keep going; providing that knowledge that is necessary in the face of constant and regular denigration by various
          ‘keyboard’ types who can only spout catch phrases and platitudes rather than put their ego in check, get out and help.

          That’s the measure of a good trainer. Continuing to provide the opportunity for those who want more than ‘facebook’ or ‘youtube’ instruction.

          Lots of good instructors out there…..lots of them.

  3. Here’s just at little tid bit of information that makes a world of difference also that no one thinks about…
    Square miles of
    Ireland 32,595
    Iraq 158,754
    Afghanistan 251,825
    USA 3.806 million
    Think of what that implies on everything from organization to logistics…

    • Further compounded by the fact we are an ocean away from anyone who produces significant numbers of arms/ammunition/fun things. Hah, you want to see a secure southern border? Wait until the drugs stop flowing north and those illegal “hi-power armor piercing explodo-bullitz” become the new ‘white girl.’ Unless the Canadians are up to something I don’t know about.

  4. Great article. Also keep in mind the Taliban filled a vaccum left by the Russian withdrawal. There was much lawlessness in the years that followed, they came in after heroically rescuing a 10 year old girl from a local warlord (their origin narrative) and provided order like the courts you mentioned and protection for people to get goods to market. What similar vaccum exists in the US today? What patriot group is prepared to field traveling judges and other Provost Marshall and Civil Affairs (to use military equivalents) functions. Many of the insurgent shadow governments you see are more functional and less corrupt than the “legitimate” government and that gets to the concept of credibility which as you pointed out, wearing multicam everywhere you go doesn’t help build.

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